SDIHW 005: Drive Your Own Ship
Corri McFadden is the founder and owner of the premiere luxury consignment service, eDrop-Off. Celebrating its 10th year in business this past October, eDrop-Off is one of the largest luxury consignors in the country and a Titanium seller on eBay!
Corri has also evolved herself as a Style Expert with her widely popular site, CorriMcFadden.com. She hosts a weekly fashion segment on WCIU’s “You and Me This Morning” and is a regular contributor on FOX News and online at Elizabeth Street and MSN. Corri also starred in her own reality series on VH1 “House of Consignment” and has appeared on the Today Show, The Steve Harvey Show and Entertainment Tonight, among others.
Getting Started: eDrop-Off was founded when Corri was a senior in college, working on her portfolio project for fashion design, and she saw an infomercial for eBay stores. // Back when people were scared to transact online and you had to explain what eBay was. // Back before Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!
“It was one of those moments that was bigger than me, and it just clicked, resonated, and felt right.”
Dealing with the Doubters: Her professor telling her that she couldn’t make her business idea a reality :: It was the fuel she needed to light her on fire and go. She was out to show her [professor] that she had something good. She was going to prove her wrong and it was the perfect motivation for the situation.
“I believe I was a born entrepreneur, and I’ve always operated on my gut; my gut carries me where I am. I knew it was right.”
“The things that you go through, you can always take them out of the situation and relate them to something else. This is not reinventing the wheel – It’s life”
On Receiving Support: Sometimes you’re all that you have and it can be a lonely entrepreneurial world. When you are your own boss and everyone is asking and needs something from you and you wonder who to turn to – you turn to yourself. That’s why you have to believe in what you’re doing.
6-12 first months: When she first started it was intimidating and overwhelming, but more than anything she had set herself in a situation to where failure was not an option.
“It was extremely hard and it’s still hard; it doesn’t get any easier. As you get bigger, your problems get bigger, and they get more expensive.”
Ask yourself: ‘where am I going to scale this to?’ | ‘What is it that I want to do with this?’ | It’s a good idea to have somewhat of a roadmap and operating on a 6-month, a 2-year and a 5-year plan :: Something that is achievable.
“I never let the situation become bigger than me, but there are moments where you are extremely overwhelmed.”
Handling the overwhelming moments: Look for silver linings in things that you go through. You are not faced with anything you can’t overcome. It might be overwhelming and debilitating where you feel that you are paralyzed and you don’t think you can do it. But you’re being faced with these things for a reason and there are moments where you do realize what the reasons were. For each problem that seems detrimental in the moment, you have to take the tools that you learned from the problem before and apply them.
Biggest challenge: First lawsuit. It was so overwhelming and it was so expensive. But I had done nothing wrong and I had to defend myself.
If you’re fighting a problem and you know you’ve done everything right, there was no ill intent, and you didn’t do anything wrong; it’s easy to fight. It might be expensive, but you feel good fighting the fight because you know you’re right.
Habits/Routines: Being present in the office every day. Having balance with her family and breaking away from business. Having an outlet to let it go, whether it’s for 20 minutes or for 2 hours – break your mind so you can mentally recover.
On the social calendar: “You never have to be anywhere. I think people need to remember that”
Questions to ask yourself: Do you HAVE to be there? When you are there, are you present? If you’re not present then you’re not engaged and there’s no value in you being there.
“You don’t want to oversaturate yourself to where you go to everything. I want my name to hold some value and I want people to know that I support them and I support the cause and I want to be at their events.”
But Remember: There is nothing more valuable than networking yourself in person.
“You can find value in things that are so very simple”
Corri’s Passion:: Fashion | Crime in Chicago | Animal Adoption, Abuse, and Awareness.
“I love helping people and giving back. Not in a way that is big or made public, but in a way that is one-on-one and can truly make an impact and help someone […] That’s where a lot of my fulfillment comes through”
Inspiration: New York City and The People She Surrounds Herself With
“I love what I do and when you love what you do, it makes it easy!”
On dealing with burnout: It’s important to recognize and refuel. It’s okay to be tired.
We’re living in a very filtered world: “We get caught up in everything that’s going on around us because it is so accessible, but you have to realize that when you are shedding those tears because you’re overwhelmed, or you’re fighting with your boyfriend, or whatever it might be – no one is taking a selfie of that!”
SDIHW Tip: At the end of the day take care of yourself. Do what makes you happy. – That’s what life is about.
Advice: You are your own brand if you are an entrepreneur or not. You can open yourself up to opportunities and do things that are just related to you without being an entrepreneur. OR
If entrepreneurship is for you: It’s a lot of hard work. Be ready to take a beating, to hear people talk hate, to spend your money, to save what you make and reinvest in your business and yourself.
“If you are not passionate enough to invest in yourself, then don’t ever expect anyone else to invest in you.”
Book Rec: The Millionaire Mind – Thomas Stanley and Bringing Home the Birkin – Michael Tonello :: Made a magical journey out of finding a small niche. A great peak into what finding a niche can do for you.
“As you’re growing and you’re on your journey, if you find yourself extremely happy where you’re at, don’t feel like you always have to do and take on more. It’s okay sometimes to just live in the moment of where you’re at without taking more on.”